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Can You Freeze Butter Chicken? – The Best Way

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Indian cuisine has long been revered around the world and is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians. After all, over 40% of India’s population is vegetarian because of their faith.

Because of the countless spices and amazing flavors that no other cuisine offers, Indian cuisine is enjoyed all over the world. It has a special place in the heart of true food lovers.

Several Indian dishes have really made a name for themselves and have become delicacies in Europe and America. Today we are talking about one of the most popular, butter chicken. 

When we think about it, most of the famous Indian dishes we eat and love today consist of chicken and curry, and butter chicken is no different. Incredibly easy to make and outstandingly delicious, we are certain you have eaten it before.

Perhaps, you love it so much that you make too much butter chicken for you and your family to eat in one or two meals? What should you do with the leftovers?

Can you freeze butter chicken? Yes, you can safely freeze butter chicken. It will last in the freezer for 3-4 months. It is best to freeze it in single servings. Butter chicken should be frozen with a few precautions to be sure to maintain it’s quality.

In this article, we will show you the simple, step by step process to follow to freeze butter chicken.

How Do You Freeze Butter Chicken?

There are certain Indian curry dishes that do not freeze well, but butter chicken is definitely not one of them. You can absolutely freeze butter chicken for later use and the process is simple

Follow the steps below to perfectly freeze your butter chicken:

Step 1: Cook the Sauce

Cook the sauce according to the recipe and then add it to cooked chicken to freeze. 

This method can be tried with a store-bought mixture which is not bad at all. It will never be as good as home-cooked butter chicken sauce with fresh ingredients but is a good alternative for people that do not have enough spare time to cook. 

Step 2: Cool the Dish & Prepare Containers

It is important to cool down the cooked butter chicken, but be careful not to leave it for too long at room temperature, due to the high risk of bacteria growth.

We recommend giving it no more than an hour to cool before continuing with the freezing process. 

As for the containers you can use to freeze butter chicken, there are three options.

  • A resealable freezer bag
  • Any type of trustworthy airtight container
  • A disposable foil pan (this is something not every household has, but you should definitely consider for future freezing experiences)

We will explain how to freeze in a foil pan in the following step. 

Step 3: Freeze the Butter Chicken

Before we get to the actual methods, we strongly recommend freezing in portions instead of the whole batch in one or two containers. If you prepared the butter chicken for yourself only, freeze it in portions to make your life easier. 

Freezing butter chicken is similar to freezing any food in a freezer bag or airtight container.

When using the freezer bag, take out as much excess air as possible, and leave some free space when freezing dishes with sauces like butter chicken.

The same goes for the airtight container. just make sure to pick one that is truly airtight, if it’s not air will get in and your butter chicken won’t stay as fresh

Disposable foil pans work incredibly well in the freezer. We recommend getting some of the smaller sizes in order to freeze your butter chicken in smaller portions

  • Get some of that freezer-friendly plastic wrap or aluminum foil and cover the bottom of the foil pan.
  • Extend the plastic wrap on either side in order to cover the dish from above too.
  • Throw in your butter chicken and sauce.
  • Cover the dish with the extension of the plastic wrap.
  • Use aluminum foil to wrap the entire foil pan a second time.

This should successfully prevent the food from freezer burn and it should keep it safe to eat for around 3–4 months

A Few Tips For Freezing Butter Chicken

Check out the tips below for some more clarification when it comes to freezing butter chicken. Happy freezing!

Can I Freeze the Sauce and Chicken Separately? 

The truth is we usually prefer freezing sauces separately as we consider it to be a far simpler task to fix any issues that can occur during the freezing period. Plus, there are many foods that do not freeze well with sauces

On the other hand, butter chicken freezes extremely well when frozen as a complete dish with the sauce. Chicken could easily dry out in the freezer, and the sauce can really help prevent this. 

To Cook or Not to Cook the Chicken?

Is it okay to freeze uncooked butter chicken? Perhaps some readers will be unfamiliar with this concept, but there are people out there that suggest this method.

There is nothing wrong with it when executed perfectly. 

Nevertheless, we recommend cooking your butter chicken before you consider freezing it. It is a better option and the safer one. 

Related Questions

Now that you know the process for freezing butter chicken, keep reading for answers to some other common questions.

What is butter chicken?

Butter chicken, known as Murgh Makhani in India, is a very popular Indian recipe with a delicious marinated chicken. It is baked in a clay oven tandoori with tomato-cream curry. 

Butter chicken is very similar to Tikka Masala. They say that the main difference is in the preparation of the tomato sauce.

According to some sources, the ancestor of this Punjabi dish was eaten several centuries ago, during the times of the Mughal Empire.

According to others, however, it is much more modern – it was popularized in the 1950s by the Punjabi restaurant Moti Mahal in Delhi. 

The story goes that in this restaurant, which specializes in making roasted tandoori chicken, the chefs used the rest of the chicken marinade, adding tomatoes and butter and seasoning the pieces of roasted chicken with the resulting sauce.

And so was born one of the most popular dishes of Indian cuisine in the Western world today.

Is there a difference between chicken tikka masala and butter chicken?

Although the ingredients list is nearly identical for the two dishes, they have several distinctive differences. The most visible differences are in the cooking process and the final taste of the dishes.  

Perhaps the biggest difference is the chicken. Tikka Masala includes grilled chicken while butter chicken is cooked differently.

The spice list is also very different, spices are significantly more abundant in Tikka Masala recipes. 

This also leads to the most obvious difference as long as you are following two absolutely traditional Indian recipes – the flavors of the cooked dishes.

Tikka masala has a truly complex flavor mix due to the extensive use of spices. It is incredibly fragrant and powerful. On the other side, butter chicken does taste as the name suggests – more buttery and not as complex.

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